Friday, September 14, 2012

Did they leave out the story?

Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)
Starring: Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Michelle Rodriguez, Bingbing Lee, Aryana Engineer, Boris Kodjoe, Johann Urb, Shawn Roberts, and Oded Fehr
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Rating: Four of Ten Stars

After years of opposing the monster-creating Umbrella Corp, Alice (Jovovich) is finally captured with no hope of escape... that is until she receives help from an unexpected source. But between her and freedom are clones of her old allies... and her old friend Jill Valentine (Guillory), now a remote-controlled slave to the Red Queen--the artificial intelligence who has now taken complete control of the compajny and all its bases.

After the two most recent installments in this series, I had cautious high hopes for this one, hoping that it would would continue the upwards trajectory in story quality and innovative action that we saw in those two films.

Unfortunately, it was not to be so. This installment in the series returns the "Resident Evil" film series to its computer gaming roots by (to borrow a phrase from Joe Bob Briggs) not featuring much story to get in the way of the plot, and by featuring even less character development.

Instead of being called "Resident Evil: Retribution", it should have been titled "Resident Evil: Run Away!" because all we really have here is Alice and/or other characters running from one zombie fight to another zombie fight, and ultimately to the film's conclusion which sets up another sequel. Basically, this feels like an interlude between "Resident Evil: Afterlife" and the next movie in the series instead of a movie that was made to enjoy on its own.

That isn't to say there aren't some good scares and plenty of the zombie-killing action in the flick... I would just like to have a little more story along with the mayhem. Jovovich once again shows herself to be the Queen of Green-screen Fu--and the final showdown in frozen northern Russia is quite exciting, but the film really needed more of a story that four lines written on the back of one of Paul W.S. Anderson's business cards.

Big-time Jovovich fans like me may enjoy this film and not mind the outrageous ticket prices that you have to pay even at matinees now. Big-time fans of the computer games might enjoy this film and likewise not feel like they could have spent their money better--I don't know, as I've never played the computer game.. Anbd if you simply can't get enough of 3D movies, perhaps you'll find it worth the money as well. Those who have come to this film series through the previous films, or who are fans of zombie flicks, can safely wait until it's a cheap home rental, or until it shows up in second-run theaters... or even skip it entirely.

1 comment:

  1. I feel like Afterlife was a bit of a backwards step after Extinction... now I'm not so hopeful about this one... I've just lowered my bar :)